By Weldon Payne
On the midnight wind this Christmas Eve, listen for the voice of angels. Hearken to the silent, unheard sweet music coming from the far-away stars, wafting on the light years. Listen for echoes of voices past and hear the quiet hum of gone-away years, vibrating still from depths of Time and from the far-away shores of eternity. While our Earth spins its mysterious and magical and timed web in the heavens – moon, lying delicately on milky gauze like a bauble high on the gossamered needles of tinseled tree – listen for the angel’s song. Or can it be that you do not yet believe in angels? So few of us do any more. We are like the shepherds, trembling at the thought of anything new or unexpected or totally pure and innocent or without guile – afraid even to lift our eyes toward the stars. A short time ago one of us stepped light-footed on that same celestial bauble whose light once cast shepherds’ shadows on that ancient grazed hill and nestled in the dingy wool of their flock – that same moon that has for ages glistened off frosty tin-topped mangers and shone through icy Christmas bedroom windows to speckle faces of sleeping children dreaming of the glorious morn – Man has actually high-stepped there. Now, afraid to look up, we have withdrawn into ourselves, not sure anymore that we can venture so far from home, not sure of what we have known or that we can know far more, afraid of who we are, what man is. And might be. We do not believe in peace anymore, or good will. Or Christmas. We have gone so long without listening for the sweet voice of angels – we have stifled the quiet voice inside us, or we no longer trust it – we do not trust silent nights, either, lest some angel’s voice speak to us and speaking, bid us out of darkness. It is so hard for us to accept gifts. Or grace. Or good tidings. Or light. We have looked into the invisible pieces of matter. We have strained light. We have made miniature brains to store our facts and figures. We have soared cross-country under the very moon whose light once guided covered wagons and oxen and ships at sea, and three wise men. But we are afraid to look inside ourselves lest we sicken at the sight of what we have become; we are afraid to look at the stars, lest their brightness shame us. Yet those stars haunt us, for we know that we are passengers on a bright cinder, and that it is a part of the heavens. Now, on this Christmas Eve, with bite of thin cold air and lights out, let us listen on the midnight wind for the voice of angels, for the clear crystal music that passes through galaxies, for the tidings of great joy and of grace and light.